Links to the past

THE current generation of Exmouth school children is being educated about the town s wartime past, thanks to a Littleham historian.

THE current generation of Exmouth school children is being educated about the town's wartime past, thanks to a Littleham historian.

Arthur Cook, 49, has spent four years painstakingly cataloguing his collection of wartime memorabilia from 1914-1818 and 1939-1945 on his website.

It includes photos, uniforms, equipment, books, newspapers, films and documents and he has been photographing them and meticulously putting them on to his website.

On he has listed the collection he has acquired over the years, and has contacted a dozen schools in the area offering his services.

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He has also been making visits to schools - often in uniform - bringing much of his collection like ration books, gas masks and Home Guard equipment

He says he wants his website to be used as a valuable educational resource for young historians at Key Stage 2.

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He said: "We have had a great response.

"Allowing children to look through a ration book for instance gives them a real sense of what life was like then.

"It gives them a tangible connection with the past. Some of the schools have even been cooking recipes from wartime cookbooks."

He said he wanted to show how little life had changed and, in some cases, come full circle.

He said: "Instead of all this stuff I've collected just lying around I wanted to put it to some kind of use.

"I've tried to link the period during the war to today and in many ways, things haven't changed.

"It was time of austerity, food was short and rationed and everything had to be recycled.

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